NORTH COAST RIVERS
North Coast streams and rivers are regulated by low flow closures. Always call ahead to determine the condition of the river you want to fish. If not mentioned, the river is closed or no reports. The DFG’s Low Flow Closure Hotline for north coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. For the Russian River and counties of Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin, call (707) 944-5533. South Central Coast streams number is (831) 649-2886. Many streams closed, and others change to artificial/barbless only on March 31 and others on April 25.
COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore.–Chinook fishing has slowed down and is fading away for another season. This was a exceptional year for this river, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer, who is already making plans to fish this river next year.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.–Last weekend was tough to find very many boats that had salmon in their fish boxes. The beginning of the week had anglers telling stories of good bites returning to Rocky Point and Bear Creek. Reports to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service over the week were filled with upset anglers over the closing of the Coho season when there are what some believe to be an over-abundance of these salmon in the river.
COQUILLE RIVER, Coquille, Oregon–Trolling spinners in fluorescent orange, hot red and chartreuse is a popular way to fish the upper end of the river. WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer has received reports from anglers of average-sized salmon being caught in the low 20-pound range. Most boats are only catching 1-3 kings during a full day of fishing.
RUSSIAN RIVER-Nothing except smallmouth bass until the rains come.
SMITH RIVER-WON contact Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service and Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing both said there’s some salmon coming into the Sand Hole on the tides, and some are being caught every day, but it’s crowded, with lots of boats trolling and anchored up, and even more bank anglers competing for a few kings. There’s definitely king salmon waiting offshore for the first rain, and when it blows out, there should be the usual big surge of kings into the river.
UMPQUA RIVER, Roseburg, Ore.–Pressure on the river is low with lots of Coho to catch and release. There are approximately 3,000 hatchery Coho to be retained by anglers if they are fortunate enough to hook into one of them. Guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service spent a day in the driftboat floating the river and noticed that the Chinooks are starting accumulate in the shallow riffles.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-Not only are fresh salmon continuing to enter the Klamath River, but some are giants. One weighing 51.9 pounds was taken near Blue Creek, and quite a number more weighing over 30 pounds were caught. The best zone has been between Klamath Glen and Blue Creek. Drifted or backbounced roe did the trick. Very few anglers were on the water.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate-No change. Anglers were still catching a dozen or more salmon an outing, with many weighing well over 20 pounds. They are pretty dark, so it’s been mostly catch and release fishing. Some steelhead are now being caught between Somes Bar and Iron Gate Dam, but the focus at the upper end of the river continued to be on salmon.
TRINITY RIVER, Weitchpec-Some salmon and steelhead were being caught in the lower end of the Trinity, but fishing continued to be tough for most anglers. The large number of smolts released from the hatchery has also put a crimp on the fishing.
TRINITY RIVER, Del Loma-Fishing continued to be relatively slow considering the large number of salmon that are still entering the Klamath and working their way upstream toward Iron Gate Dam. Fishing for steelhead continued to be tough and the counts at the Willow Creek Weir continued to be low. A few were being caught, mostly around Del Loma, on swung flies, roe, nightcrawlers, and back-trolled Brad’s Wigglers. Smolts continued to be a nuisance.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-This past week there was finally some good news. Using jumbo minnows produced a better bite. While tournament anglers struggled to find limits and decent bass, anglers using minnows had more fish and larger ones as well. Catfish action remained good with almost all anglers spending time fishing for them reporting 6 to 10 fish per outing in the 6- to 11-pound range and bigger. Drifting cut mackerel was a favorite, but literally any live bait like shiners, nightcrawlers, or crawdads have been working too. Fish the center portion of the lake for the best results.
LAKE BERRYESSA-Once the water cools and the lake turns, the bite should improve for both salmon and bass. The bass have been hit and miss and the spoon bite hasn’t picked up yet. Try spooning in 50 feet until the lake turns. The kings will start mixing with the rainbows and start their winter feeding soon. Look for these fish from 45 to 60 feet and as the colder weather comes, the lake turns over, and all the fish will be on top.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-Mixed reports from DFG now suggest the lake may not even get another plant this year. Trollers are finding 1 to 3 trout for a day’s effort for small fish on flashers and worms. Bass fishing has been hot on plastics out to 30 feet through the Narrows, and on the east side by the “red house” for bass from 3 to 6 pounds, although just a couple bass has been the average. If you need some help with tactics, head over to the Narrows Resort and ask for Art.
AMERICAN RIVER-Steelheading continued to be pretty good, and anglers with luck, skill and persistence have been getting a grab or two every couple of trips out. Most of the fish will be only a couple of pounds, but much larger fish are also being hooked occasionally. Swing or dead drift caddis imitations. Spin fishermen are drifting nightcrawlers, or swinging 3/8-ounce Little Cleos and No. 3 Blue Fox spinners. Work the riffles at River Bend Park, Sunrise, and Sailor Bar.
FEATHER RIVER-Steelhead continued to be caught off riffles behind spawning salmon on Glo-Bugs and egg patterns. Light leaders and a quiet approach are musts. Some nice steelhead were also being caught in the main stem of the Feather below the Outlet Hole now that flows are lower (2,400 cfs).
FOLSOM LAKE-The rains raise hopes that bass will finally go into a more active fall feeding pattern. In the meantime, look for bait balls deep around the main body around structure and river and channels. Spoon and jig. Some trout and salmon are being caught trolling around 50 feet deep near Brown’s Ravine. Fishing for them should be helped by the rain, as well.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-There were some good striped bass reports coming from various spots between Rio Vista and Discovery Park. An 18 pounder was caught from shore at Discovery Park on bloodworms. Mudsuckers have been working as well.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Tisdale-Salmon fishing was hit and miss with a few being caught here and there from Knight’s Landing to Ord Bend. Fish being hooked farther upstream have tended to be darker, while those nearer the lower end of the open section (Knight’s Landing) have been brighter and appear to be newly-arrived kings, indicating better days ahead.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding-Cooler weather has put a nice spark into trout fishing. So have spawning salmon. Trout fishermen are drifting egg patterns and nymphs under indicators and spin fishermen are drifting Glo-Bugs.
UPPER SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir-Trout fishing continues to improve as the water cools, and more larger fish are moving into the lower end of the river from the lake. High stick or indicator fish pockets with Prince nymphs, rubberlegs, and Foxes’ Poopahs.
YUBA RIVER-No change. Nice steelhead and trout are being caught behind spawning salmon which are quite plentiful this year. Egg patterns are good, but so are caddis and Mayfly nymph imitations. The stretch from the Highway 20 Bridge to Sycamore. Ranch is the easiest to reach, but also the most crowded, especially if you can only walk the shoreline.
BERKELEY-Great action on the Farallon Island trips resulting in rockfish limits and counts of up to 20 lingcod. Halibut numbers are coming back, and anyone who wants to get back on the drift for them can buy live bait at the Berkeley receiver. On the California Dawn, Captain James Smith reported 20 halibut and 4 stripers on Sunday’s trip, all from San Pablo Bay. He also ran another “crew and friends” trip for big sharks, and brother Chris nailed a 145-pound sevengill.
BODEGA BAY- Bottomfishing remained very good for anglers on the New Sea Angler, with limits pretty much a foregone conclusion, but ling counts down. Captain Rick Powers reported some hefty reds, and a couple olive rockfish in the 5-pound class. The big tuna bite remained too far north to run to, but locals are still hoping for a chance at albacore.
EMERYVILLE-The main focus was Farallon Islands rockfish, with limits and fluctuating lingcod counts. Top score of the week was on the Captain Hook, when 17 anglers caught rockfish limits and 15 lings, nearing one around. The weekend bite tapered off as the weather came up, and no one tried for the islands on Sunday.
EUREKA-Albacore action exploded in a two-day window, with counts on private and six-pack charters running up to 50-plus. On the Reel Steel, anglers caught 54 tuna, all 25 to 30 pounds. The anglers on board with Captain Tim Klassen used live bait to chum the fish to the boat, and there they stayed. “They quit at 30 fish, cleaned up the boat and pretty much plugged the fish boxes, then couldn’t resist a big boil they saw on the way in, and boated 20 more!” said John Corbett at the Pro Sport Center.
FORT BRAGG-Wide open albacore for anglers fishing just 18 miles out, a big enough bite to attract anglers from other ports. Captain Rick Powers joined friend Jeff “The Dogcatcher” Clemens on his Osprey for 14 fish to 39 pounds. “The size of the fish were the biggest average I’ve every seen caught,” said Powers. A WON subscriber went up and hooked two yellowtail, reporting his catch on the WON website at www.wonews.com. “I’ve fished Fort Bragg the last 14 years, and have never heard of or seen yellowtail,” said Steve Sengle of Rancho Cucamonga.
HALF MOON BAY-While bottomfish are the main course, there are still some white seabass showing up, with Captain Tom Mattusch of Huli Cat Sportfishing reporting for stand-in skipper Captain Mike Velasquez. That trip yielded 4 seabass, a 19-pound lingcod, a 32-inch halibut, and a 12-pound salmon, released. On the Queen Of Hearts, limits of rockfish rewarded anglers all week except when the weather kept the boat in. There were a few lingcod and cabezon boated also.
MARTINEZ-Striped bass are moving up the system, with some pretty good action around Buoy 6, said Lisa Resentez at Martinez Bait and Tackle. Bullheads are working for the linesides. Top catch off the pier has been big bat rays.
POINT SAN PABLO-Captain Frank Miller on the Fury reported a great week of striped bass trolling action, with limits of bass every trip out. “We fished during the week, and then on the weekend both days, and caught limits of bass trolling every trip out,” said Miller. Hair jigs enticed the bass, which ranged in size up to 8 or 9 pounds. On Saturday, four anglers caught 3 halibut to add to the weight in the fish box, biggest a 15 pounder, all from Paradise.
SAN PABLO BAY-Striped bass are thick in north bay, with trollers getting the biggest numbers, but anchor anglers scoring heavier fish. Live bait drifters fall somewhere in between, but also manage some decent halibut action.
SHELTER COVE-A wide open albacore bite offered all-you-want action for anglers fishing with Captain Trent Slate on Wednesday, his first effort out at 25 miles out overshooting the fish. “My friend called us back, he was at 19 miles; we saw jumpers at 22 miles, so stopped on our own fish,” said Slate. The action was wide open, with anglers on the bow hooking up fish on Mega Bait iron as they casted to boils, then every rod on the boat would get the bend. “We stopped on one bait school, and the bait stayed under the boat. It was like an aquarium, you could see the tuna swim by!” Days end resulted in 47 fish for four anglers. They cleaned tuna all day Thursday, but other boats went out and got up to 25 fish. The wind came up Friday, and kept everyone on shore through the weekend.
LAKE ALMANOR-Extra plants of small DFG trout are beating larger fish to the baits. Plenty of action for them but for larger fish, you may have to wade through 40 a day. Surface troll in the top 15 feet with white flies or Speedy Shiners.
BAUM LAKE- Vaughn’s Sporting Goods in Burney said there were lots of bugs on the water, cripples, nymphs, and dries were all taking fish. Don’t be shy about using some larger flies, as fish are ready to “fill up” before winter sets in. As usual, Power Bait, Power Eggs, and nightcrawlers are always good choices. Brown or olive woolly buggers are fooling a few fish. Lure fishermen are sticking with Kastmasters.
BRITTON LAKE-Crappie fishing is slowing, but the bite is good for smallmouth bass which are going for topwater.
BURNEY CREEK-The bite has been consistent all summer and hasn’t changed, try caddis and callibaetis above the falls or attractor patterns. Below the falls a pheasant tail, copper John, bird’s nest or hares ear are working.
CASSEL FOREBAY-Nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, and lures are all working well and there is much less fishing pressure now. Fly fishermen did well on BWOs, callibaetis, and caddis while pt’s were favorites for nymph fishermen. Early morning and late in the evening remains the best time to fish.
EAGLE LAKE-Back on track again for both bobber fishing and trollers at the north end in the shallows. Troll 150 feet back in waters 5 to 10 feet deep with watermelon, pumpkin seed and orange grubs. Bobber fish the south side of Pelican Point near the “Broccoli tree” anchored in 10 to 11 feet of water fishing 5 to 8 feet deep with a nightcrawler and scent.
UPPER HAT CREEK- Fall is often overlooked here, but it actually fishes great this time of year, with hatches including Tricos, BWOs, PMDs, and small tan colored caddis, and even some bigger October caddis migrating towards the banks and beginning to hatch in the freestone sections.
HAT CREEK (wild) -Nymph anglers continued to do best on hare’s ear, birds nest and pheasant tails. Callibaetis cripples also yielded some good results.
MANZANITA LAKE-Fishing continues to be fair to slow. The best action seems to come in the middle of the day on small midges dead drifted under indicators. Slow stripping leeches can also be productive this time of year, especially around the shallower drop-offs, coves, and weed beds.
PIT RIVER-Not a great option right now due to inconsistent flows. River levels will vary through Tuesday, Oct. 26 in the reaches below the Pit 4 and Pit 5 dams resulting in flows as high as 1,500 cfs. Flows are better in the Pit 3 stretch, but periodic road closures make ability to access these sections questionable.
LAKE SHASTA-Anglers are still waiting for the lake to turn, and waters have been too warm. As a result, trout and bass are both scattered in the water columns. One day the trout were in 40 and 60 feet, and the next 10 to 40. The only thing that didn’t change was that Captain America HumDingers and watermelon Apex or a Dare Devil lure worked. For bass, the spoon bite is just starting, or go with the topwater for a few larger fish, and plastics for numbers.
AMERICAN RIVER-Low and clear with little fishing pressure reported by the Georgetown Ranger Station. Hikers should find good action in the deeper pools with nightcrawlers and spinners.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Fall bite for spotted bass is kicking into gear. A small tournament found a good bite on drop-shot plastics at 35 to 45 feet. Big fish of the event was a 4 1/2 pounder caught by Cheryl Cavanaugh on a Senko in Houseboat Cove at 40 feet deep.
CAMP FAR WEST-Trollers are picking up limits of bass on crankbaits. Catfish bite is good for shore anglers using chicken livers and nightcrawlers for fish running 3 to 4 pounds.
COLLINS LAKE-The shad hatch has fishing boiling on the surface chasing bait–trout, bass and panfish are all feeding. Most anglers are picking up a few fish, but no limits are showing. Warm weather this past week kept the surface temp at 73-degrees, and the fall plants will not start until the temp drops below 70-degrees. The planting scheduled to begin this week may be postponed until the following week; call ahead for the latest info. Catfish action is still good with the warmer water. Jerry Freeman of Live Oak hit Elmer’s Cove for 4 big cats weigh 4-, 6-, 7-, and 10-pounds. DFG periodically plants fingerling browns in the lake and Marlene
Aprile picked up a 3 pounder trolling a Z-Ray spoon at the dam.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 89-percent capacity. Trout action is still good in the marina for 14- to 16-inch rainbows for trollers using flasher/worm combos. Houseboaters are still picking up trout on worms fished off the backs of their boats berthed in the marina. Boaters heading up lake are finding good action both trolling and drifting worms and Power Bait.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that the bite has slowed here but that a few fish are still being caught trolling Rapalas at the inlet.
FULLER LAKE-With a DFG plant here just two weeks ago, trolling and shore action should still be good.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported good action for rainbows and browns fast pumping Rapalas at the inlet early in the morning. Some good Mackinaws are coming in at the dam for boaters jigging 3-ounce Gibbs Minnows at 80 feet.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Bass action is still very slow-as soon as the water cools off some more, the bite should improve. Coho trolling has been producing some silvers up to 3 pounds at the dam and the Green Bridge. Sling Blade combos at 40 feet are the best bet.
ROLLINS LAKE-Very few people were on the lake according to Dee Wolffe at Long Ravine Resort. The dam produced some rainbows on Power Bait and a few small bass on nightcrawlers.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-The marina is open on an “on-call” basis-check in at the office for services. No fishing reports were available, but as the water temp drops, the fishing should be improving for both trout and smallmouth bass. Trolling at the inlet should be producing some nice browns.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-The falling water temp should improve the fishing here, but the lake hasn’t been planted by the DFG since July.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that one angler said he picked up a limit of rainbows in 20 minutes using Power Bait. There has been a rumor floating around that the DFG made an unannounced plant here a couple of weeks ago, and reports of quick limits may be substantiating this.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-Not much to report here. The bass bite should be improving as the fall bite kicks in and fish start feeding more heavily. Jigs, worms, Senkos, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are all worth trying now.